Archive for Sunday, August 28, 2011

Group plans rally against Brownback policies

August 28, 2011


— Organizers of a newly formed statewide group say frustration is building among Kansans who are concerned about recent policy decisions by first-term Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

From closure of socials services offices to elimination of state funding for the arts, supporters of Kansans United in Voice and Spirit say it’s time they made their concerns known. A rally is scheduled Sept. 16 on the Statehouse steps in Topeka to air differences with Brownback and the new administration.

Crystal McComas, a clinical social worker in Lawrence, is organizing Kansas United along with Tamara Werth, a Lawrence psychiatrist. The two said the galvanizing issue for them was the decision to close the city’s Social and Rehabilitation Services office. After much discussion, the city and Douglas County agreed to pay a portion of the office’s rent to keep the center open.

McComas said the governor seems to be moving ahead with his agenda “when the average Kansan has questions.”

“We believe that Kansans in general didn’t fully understand” what his election meant, she said. “He feels he has a mandate to make changes in the policies Kansans hold dear.”

Werth said the response to the rally has been good and residents across the state are excited to have an opportunity to have their voices heard. She is anticipating hundreds of participants for the weekday rally and is using social media to spread the word.

Brownback’s spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag didn’t respond directly to the concerns about the policy decisions, or whether the governor is ignoring some residents in the process. She repeated the message Brownback has uttered since the 2010 campaign that the focus is about getting the state economy on solid footing.

“Since January nearly 11,000 private-sector jobs have been created and working with the Kansas Legislature, we turned a deficit into a more than $100 million ending balance,” Jones-Sontag said. “We’ve had some other successes recently, but still have much more work to make our great state even better.”

Gerry Heil, a semi-retired Hays resident, said she hopes the rally can bring enough people together to force the governor to take a step back and see what’s happening.

“What he’s done has been a tragedy,” Heil said. “I hope people realize that he was a mistake.”

She points to the new regulations on abortion and laws aimed at blocking funding for Planned Parenthood services in Kansas. Heil also said many people question why Brownback has hired so many people from outside Kansas to fill key positions.

Heil said supporters of Kansans United are looking “to come together as part of a movement that is bigger than ourselves to help our state become more balanced.”

Kansas Republican Party Chairwoman Amanda Adkins said disagreement over policy decisions was a healthy part of the democratic process, and she encouraged residents regardless of political party to be passionate about issues they hold dear.

Adkins, who was appointed by Brownback to be head of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet, said the governor was taking a “long view” of where Kansas needs to be to have a growing economy while providing services in the most efficient manner.

She said Brownback was receiving diverse opinions as to where the state should go.

“From the governor’s perspective, and mine, it is a positive thing for people to show up and share their comments and passion for the state,” she said. “The Kansas Republican Party and the governor support the right to peaceably assemble. Whenever someone has a strong opinion on something, we welcome that.”

Katie Krider, a retired French teacher in Lawrence, said she’s bothered by the Christian ideology that the administration seems to advocate in new policies, such as faith-based social services and promoting marriage.

“Christians don’t have a lock on moral authority,” Krider said. “The fact they claim to be acting as Christians is very offensive. It’s not the Christianity that I know.”

Krider said the decision in July to close social services offices statewide may have been the tipping point to push people into action.

“He doesn’t seem to be a very good listener. He seems to have his agenda set and damn the torpedoes full speed ahead,” Krider said. “It would be nice if he would listen.”


Gandalf 6 years, 9 months ago

Krider said. “It would be nice if he would listen

It might even be better if he could think.

shadowlady 6 years, 9 months ago

Even if he would listen, it seems to me he has his mind made up, and no one is going to change it. The only way to change this, is to get him out of office.

Mike1949 6 years, 9 months ago

I guess I can say, "I told you so!" Mickey Mouse would have made a better Governor.

Terry Jacobsen 6 years, 9 months ago

Hard for me to believe that people in places other than Lawrence give a hoot about the SRS office in Lawrence closing. Especially since the office isn't closing. I think people should express their views, but will be surprised if there are very many non-Lawrence people there. Also, I hope it is a positive and constructive discussion and not just an anti-Christian, anti-Brownback rant. Otherwise it will just be more political rabble and serve no constructive purpose.

shadowlady 6 years, 9 months ago

I was there one day this past week, and it was like walking into a ghost building, so if it is not closing then where is everyone?? It is time to recertify for some of the people, and people used to go in to the office for their review, now it is phone interviews.

pace 6 years, 9 months ago

The medicaid patients who need eye surgery are now required to go to Kansas city for application and Overland Park or Topeka for the surgery and followup. IF they are even eligible, of course once blind it might put them higher up on the list. I think more than Lawrence cares about ACK abusing the elderly, children, while sending our tax money to the the richest men in America. It is not saving money, it is about punishing the poor and helpless for being poor or helpless. Weird Brownback, May god have mercy on his soul.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 9 months ago

Traveling for "Free" healthcare is not just for the ones you talk about, it has been that way for the members of our military for years.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Meet Brownback Thinking:

TABOR is Coming sells out state governments

ALEC Exposed

ALEC Exposed: State Legislative Bills Drafted by Secretive Corporate-Lawmaker Coalition

This week the Center for Media and Democracy released 800 model bills, legislation that is straight out of the corporate playbook and drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The group’s membership includes both state lawmakers and corporate executives who gather behind closed doors to discuss and vote on draft legislation.

ALEC has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months for its role in crafting bills to attack worker rights, to roll back environmental regulations, privatize education, deregulate major industries, and pass voter ID laws.

Thanks to ALEC, at least a dozen states have recently adopted a nearly identical resolution asking Congress to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to stop regulating carbon emissions. We are joined by Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media Democracy.

Koch Brothers, ALEC and Their Corporate Allies Plan to Privatize Government

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce subscribes to the points of view of the above. What we have is a well orchestrated political move which needs to be squashed.

Voters need to get back to voting. These radicals are coming to office as a result of low voter turnouts.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 9 months ago

The most troubling item on Brownback's agenda is to legislatively do away with the income tax and replace it with a higher sales tax, a consumption tax.

Not only will this bankrupt Kansas and/or bring all state agencies and services to a halt, it will greatly shift the tax burden away from the wealthy to the middle and lower classes.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 9 months ago

When there is no money, then it will be just that. No money.

allamerican4ever 6 years, 9 months ago

ok no money for streets but we have money for social service when you cant drive without having your car put in the shop how do they get money ? i say dump it use other services

Mike Ford 6 years, 9 months ago

hey both ways, sell your end of the world bs to the other receptive end of the world people that buy it....have a rapture at someone's else expense other than know I've always listened to those street corner apocolyptics because they can really convince those people who respond to fear and let their fear think for them.. what corner of Mass St are you and your ilk preaching from now??? Let's do a checklist..attack the disabled at SRS, get the whole VA thing wrong and attack educators like my late mother...which nutjob is filling your head with this nonsense????

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 9 months ago

Governor Brownback has been doing an outstanding job bringing reforms to Kansas that will help rural areas, help reduce the tax burden, and bring reform to education. Remember he walked into a very bad situation left by previous Democrat governor's! He balanced the budget and he supports the traditional family values that most Kansans support. I would be happy to attend a rally in support of Brownback and I know many other fellow Kansans who agree that he is doing a fine job for Kansas!

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